Tommy Lee just doesn’t get it. He’s not a front man, he’s a drummer. He’s not a singer, he’s a drummer. He’s not even a very good songwriter, he’s a drummer. A very good rock drummer, actually.
Who can forget his progressively crazy drum solos during all those Motley Crue tours, when his kit would do tricks like tip over, or spin around, or float out over the crowd?
But when this good drummer — and otherwise likable and interesting guy — tries to follow the unlikely leads of, say, Phil Collins or Dave Grohl and move from playing drums in a popular band to strictly working the crowd at the front of the stage, he flat out falls right on his tattooed butt.
At the second of two SRO shows at the House of Blues, Lee tried very hard to cheer a crowd of old Motley fans and curious younger listeners into having a good time, but little fun was to be found in this dreadful music.
The 15 listless songs, mostly lifted from Lee’s new album “Never a Dull Moment” (MCA), all plodded along with the same industrial-metal rhythms, and all seemed to be cut from a pool of just two or three different songwriting templates.
But worst of all is the guy’s maddeningly flat singing voice, which he uses in a vain effort to create a sense of sympathy for the sad-sack, autobiographical characters in his songs (“Hold Me Down,” “Anger Management,” “New Skin”). Sure, Vince Neal is no vocal genius, either, but there is a very good reason you never hear Tommy singing on any Motley Crue songs.
Everyone was waiting at the end to hear at least one Motley Crue song, and Lee and his faceless band did play “Shout at the Devil” during the encore. But this proto-industrial stomp version of the song was just bad.
Even a striptease appearance by Lee’s girlfriend, the dancer Mayte, could not salvage this sad affair.